Toyota Patents Flying Car Design
Toyota has filed for patent protection of an unusual flying car design that uses the same drive mechanism for road and the air. According to TransportUp, the “Dual Mode Vehicle With Wheel Rotors” uses the rotor hubs as wheels when the device is on the ground. The rotors fold into the wheel allowing the vehicle to roll freely. Steering and braking would be accomplished with differential power to the individual wheel rotors, which would be fixed in a single position on the ground.
In the air, the rotors swing up into the horizontal position on arms that end up above the passenger compartment. To transition between air and ground mode, the stationary vehicle rests on hard points on the fuselage while the machinery moves into place. Although this precise design may never see production, the huge carmaker’s evident interest in developing the technology is considered telling. Toyota calls the effort SkyDrive and hopes to use a flying car prototype to light the flame for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.